Pastoral Authority

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by trainbrainmommy, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. trainbrainmommy

    trainbrainmommy
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    There seems to be a trend - or maybe pastors are just more open - toward pastors claiming complete control over the church in which they minister.

    [deleted by request of poster]

    He has recently stated that the church constitution is not Biblical as it does not give the pastor carte blanche.

    DH and I left a church last year where the pastor was not following church procedures but claimed since he was the pastor and was only thinking of the ministry he had the right. As we became more informed, we realized he was being dishonest in order to control certain large funds and to save face. He stated that if the church constitution did not allow him to do what he wanted, it should be thrown out. He had enough lemmings in the church that DH and I left rather than insist that things be done decently and in order.

    My brother and SILs church split over a pastor such as this - he was hired and then proceded to attempt to change the whole church. Many of the members began praying imprecatory prayers over this situation and within 6 months of the split, the pastor was killed in a head on car accident in which his son accidentally rear ended him and pushed him into on-coming traffic.

    If a pastor is called to a church and knows what the constitution states, why would he accept the call if he disagrees with the constitution? It would be like accepting any job and then balking at the job requirements. Only in the case of the pastors in these cases, they twist Scripture to support their manipulation and pride in hopes that younger Christians will not know how to discern the truth.
     
    #1 trainbrainmommy, Feb 8, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2007
  2. Shiloh

    Shiloh
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    WOW:eek: When not knowing the "truth" I always tilt to the pastor! I wonder what he would say about you? I know some good fellows around Oakland and Barton...and I might know you. :thumbs:
     
  3. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Perhaps it would be advantageous not to repeat unsubstantiated gossip and rumor on this public board. It would be good to instruct your friend to handle it biblically, by going to the pastor, rather than going to others to complain.
     
  4. Logos1560

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    The Bible is a greater authority than a church constitution. A church constitution should be based on the Bible and present that church's understanding of what the Bible teaches. A church constitution and bylaws are intended to be aids or helps to a local church. If there is actually something wrong or unbiblical in a church's constitution or if that church now wants to do certain thing differently, the church constitution should be revised or amended. For a church to ignore or contradict its own constitution and bylaws can lead to serious problems. If a new pastor had serious problems with a local church's constitution, he should have told the church about his concerns before becoming its pastor.
     
  5. pinoybaptist

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    That's nothing, trainbrainmommy.
    How about a pastor who requires that all young women in his church report to him any young man who visits them at home, or that any young man in church seek his permission first before he goes courting any of the young lass in church ?
    Or a pastor who will reprimand a wife in front of the husband because she had her hair cut short ?

    And you can't go against him, or talk back to him, because if you do, you are going against God's "annointed", and like Aaron and Miriam, may be setting yourself up for discipline.
     
  6. trainbrainmommy

    trainbrainmommy
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    Our former pastor did not even ask why we were leaving. DH had been a member for 30+ years. We believe he was relieved we were leaving b/c we knew too much. We were VERY involved in many aspects of church. As for knowing me, I doubt it. DHs family name is fairly well-known.

    BTW - we left without any confrontation and did not speak to anyone about the specifics - we did not gossip or "share". The pastor, on the other hand, told people some very interesting things about why we left - MIL and SIL still attend there and heard these things first hand.
     
  7. trainbrainmommy

    trainbrainmommy
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    EXACTLY! I thought pastors were fallible, too. ?
     
  8. Scarlett O.

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    Why? Because he's a pastor?

    I would think that if one did not know the "truth" that one should not tilt in either direction until the truth was revealed.
     
  9. Jon-Marc

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    I don't know what kind of churches some people are in, but I've never been in a Baptist church (and I've been in many) where the pastor thought he ran the lives of the people.
     
  10. trainbrainmommy

    trainbrainmommy
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    My friend and I have known each other since grade school. She does not lie and I trust her and her husband's judgement. My friend and her husband plan to speak to the pastor at the first possible opportunity. Seeing that I and DH just went through a similar situation, she was asking for counsel and compassion.

    I am NOT gossiping - I did not state where in the US this church is and I did not name any names. She lives hundreds of miles from me. I was merely broaching the subject of pastors who go overboard with their view of pastoral authority at the expense of the church body.

    And you cannot tell me that pastors do not call each other and commiserate or ask for counsel. Would that be considered "gossip" or "complaining"?

    "Other foot - same pair of shoes" like my grandmother used to say.
     
  11. Mexdeaf

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    Yeah, been through much the same. We tried to leave quietly but the 'mannagod' wouldn't let us. It hurt at the time but the Lord led us to a much better church where we had (and have) a pastor who leads the sheep instead of driving them.
     
  12. Gayla

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    Pinoybaptist said . . ."And you can't go against him, or talk back to him, because if you do, you are going against God's "annointed", and like Aaron and Miriam, may be setting yourself up for discipline."


    You nailed that one!
    Some Pastors have an air about them that says "I am it". If you have a question my answer is right, you cannot come up with the correct answer.
     
  13. Salamander

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    Do what I have done and still do, go back to special meetings and let him hang himself in front of all his congregation, it works!

    We left without saying anything, man it sure let us know who really loves us! Very few, very few.

    "Im like a gnat, when I see I'm bothering people, I just keep hangin' around!" Dr. Phil Kidd.
     
  14. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    These pastors certainly did not learn polity in MY classroom! But clearly we are talking in these posts not just about polity or governance theory or even Biblical interpretation, but about some very obsessive and controlling personalities. Would that ordination councils could or would probe the personality disorders of those who come before them, seeking recognition as ministers! I almost -- but not quite -- would call for congregational-polity churches to do what the Episcopalians do: require psychological evaluation before a candidate is even admitted to seminary.
     
  15. Salamander

    Salamander
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    Let me fall into the hand of God and not men.
     
  16. Salamander

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    Many object to any one man having pastoral authority due to their wanting to pastor the church from the pew.

    I believe many like to make pastors suspect in these "discussions" when it's really they don't understand the responsibilities that go with shepherding a flock.

    I preach the whole counsel of God. I've been called a dictator for so-doing, but I have never required anyone to meet up to what I've preached. I let God sort them out, y'know, the tares from the wheat.

    When it comes to holding a position, that's where I draw the line. Not just any Sam, Jane, Rudy or Judy will hold a position if they're not qualified.
     
  17. PeterM

    PeterM
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    Church's shouldn't have a chain of command... instead they should have a chain of council where pastors are encouragers and shepherds.

    This task master stuff gives all of us a bad rep.
     
  18. Timsings

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    I'm sure that there are some cases where this is true, but that is not the problem here. I know a family that moved from their church to the mission congregation started by the church. Years before, they had been charter members of the church when it had been a mission. The church called a pastor for the mission. I heard him preach while we were visiting. His sermon topic was "The Duties and Responsibilities of a Good Church Member." Although he never came right out and said it, the message I got was that a good church member keeps their mouth shut and does what the pastor tells them to do.

    After a few years, after the mission had constituted itself as a church, they had a business meeting to disfellowship two couples for "not supporting the pastor." Both couples were long-time friends of the people we knew. After it became apparent that this was going to happen, our friends and another woman requested that their names be added to the list. This church kicked out seven tithers (out of about 125 members) because they raised questions in business meetings that sometimes cast doubts about the pastor's plans.

    After a few more years, the pastor began to threaten to resign. Finally, the deacon chair asked him to put his resignation in writing, and the church voted to accept it. A few years later, when his successor found out about the seven members who had been kicked out, he led the church to send them letters of apology.

    We have too many pastors who subscribe to the "pastor-as-ruler" role. And, we have too many churches who do not do their due diligence when they pick a pastor. It is not enough to pray over a candidate. The candidate needs to be thoroughly researched, including a criminal background check. This may seem harsh, but there are plenty of people ready and willing to take advantage of a trusting congregation. While I have been typing this, the news just ran a story about a child rapist who has been frequenting churches and identifying himself as a youth minister.

    As for a church's constitution and by-laws, they are indeed tools to help a church conduct its business decently and in order. Toward that end, a lawyer should look over these documents for the purpose of pointing out any potential problems with the wording of procedures. The church does not necessarily need to make changes, but they need to be aware of the potential problems. This is for the congregation's protection.

    My church is in the midst of the pastor search process. Our deacons have spent a good bit of time reviewing our documents. Our by-laws were largely written by a devoted member who was a lawyer, and a couple of current deacons who are lawyers have commented on what a good job he had done. We feel we are very lucky.

    Tim Reynolds
     
  19. Mexdeaf

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    Tim,

    Excellent post.:thumbs:
     
  20. bapmom

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    of course a fallible man can take pastoral authority and abuse it.....just like deacons can be given too much authority and abuse that. It's about having spiritual balance. I know of a church that ran their pastor out because he wanted to be able to hire and fire teachers in their Christian school. He figured if/since the Christian school was a ministry of the church, than the pastor ought to be responsible for who taught there. I agree with him.

    Having pastoral authority is not the big problem. It is when men take it and use it for their own advantage and/or out of pride and arrogance they get carried away with it.

    My preacher has the last word in our church about what happens in church ministries, etc. But he is balanced. He preaches against sin, and for standards, and for Godly doctrines and attitudes.......but he also doesn't go to our homes in order to try to micro-manage things. Perhaps that is the real issue in many cases.....the pastor is under the mistaken notion that in order to truly do his job well he must micro-manage everything and everyone.
     

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